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Cities are turning to social workers to help get people off the streets, a man becomes the target of a criminal investigation after walking his dogs and more in our weekly roundup of North County news.
The fear that too many candidates might split the vote and eliminate their own party from contention in November may have come true — but not in the way people expected.
While the results aren’t yet official, the 76th Assembly District may see a general election face-off between two Democrats, Elizabeth Warren and Tasha Boerner Horvath, after six Republicans split just under half of all votes cast in the primary.
On Wednesday, there were still several thousand mail-in ballots to count, but Warren led her better-funded rival, Boerner Horvath, with 25.6 percent of the vote to Boerner Horvath’s 25.2 percent.
“I am grateful for the support I have received in the 76th District and beyond. I have no plans for a political career — I just want to do my part to help solve some problems,” Warren said on Wednesday.
Phil Graham, who raised the most money of any candidate, performed the best among the Republicans, earning 21.1 percent of votes cast, for third place.
No other Republican earned more than 9 points.
The Democrats’ success may have been a result of the surge of registered voters after President Donald Trump was elected, which virtually erased what was a 7,000-voter advantage for Republicans. On Tuesday, about 34,300 votes were cast for Democrats, compared with 33,200 votes for Republicans.
Forums leading up to the election mostly focused on housing, the gas tax, water and the state’s so-called sanctuary laws. Warren raised eyebrows when she came out against the gas tax, arguing that it hurt working-class families. She also made her campaign about single-payer health care.
While Boerner-Horvath was hit with a flurry of negative ads by state Republicans, she also benefited from mailers sponsored by labor groups and Planned Parenthood.
Meanwhile, in the 49th District congressional race, Republican Diane Harkey is headed to the November election, possibly against Democrat Mike Levin.
Levin has a 1,900-vote lead over fellow Democrat Sara Jacobs, with the mail-in ballots yet to be counted. Jacobs bested Levin by a few hundred votes in San Diego County, but Levin pulled in about 2,100 more votes in the Orange County portion of the district, his home turf.
Voice’s Jesse Marx broke down how the two Republicans who were most familiar to voters, Kristin Gaspar and Rocky Chavez, veered right and left in the race, and how that didn’t go over well with voters. Marx also joined canvassers this weekend to see how candidates were making their final pitch to voters.
As North County continues to be home to a large number of homeless residents, cities are turning to social workers to bolster their efforts to get people off the streets.
The Union-Tribune reports that three cities now have contracts with Interfaith Community Services to provide social workers who help people navigate homeless services and provide immediate help to people in crisis situations.
Encinitas led the effort two years ago, followed by Oceanside and Carlsbad, which recently added two positions to their homeless outreach teams. Interfaith CEO Greg Anglea told the U-T that Escondido was also in talks to hire social workers through his organization.
“These partnerships between city, law enforcement and nonprofit providers are the best way to effectively address homelessness in our communities,” Anglea told the U-T.
A Vista woman saw a man on the street she didn’t recognize, so she snapped his photo. The man’s skin color was similar to that of a suspect in a nearby burglary, so the woman shared the image with Sheriff’s Department investigators.
That was all it took for Ike Iloputaife to become a person of interest, and to have his photo shared around the community and online, the Union-Tribune reports. Nevermind the physical differences, or that the photo was of Iloputaife with his two dogs, who he walked twice daily for the last year.
“In this person’s head I became a person of interest because of my skin color,” Iloputaife wrote to his neighbors on Nextdoor, according to the U-T. “Asking to call the police on a black person in this highly charged political and cultural environment can be a danger for the black person.”
The Union-Tribune writes that Iloputaife has spent a week trying to get his photo removed from local media and one crime-stoppers website, and he said Sheriff’s deputies won’t return his calls.
At this point, all he wants is an apology.
The episode marks a good chance to revive this piece on the toxicity of Nextdoor, which a Los Angeles Times reporter joked is “a local news show anchored by George Zimmerman.”